In German language, you also see four extra letters: ä, ö, ü and ß. This peculiarity at least makes the most sense: the letter W in German, which is named like a V sounds like a V. Now for a little humor that actually helps you remember! The ß, on the other hand, is simply like an over-pronounced s. It is rightly called in German ein scharfes s (a sharp s). Even though the letter C is in the German alphabet, by itself it plays only a minor role, since most German words that start with the letter C followed by a vowel, stem from foreign words. ThoughtCo uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Of course, this is expected in Hochdeutsch (standard German) only, it might be different when speaking German dialects or with accents of different German regions. Otherwise, the letter c is actually only popular in German consonant combinations, such as sch and ch, as stated in the preceding paragraph. It is only in these types of words where you’ll find the soft c or hard c sound. German Alphabet Pronunciation Chart . Yes, this confuses a lot of beginners! By using ThoughtCo, you accept our, Additional Letters in the German Alphabet, German for Beginners: Pronunciation and Alphabet, German Spelling With a Double S or Eszett (ß), How to Type German Characters on Your Computer, How to Type German Characters on a Keyboard, How To Pronounce 'Frohe Weihnachten' in German, Animal Sounds in German With English Translations, German Verbs: How to Recognize the German Subjunctive I, II. At least when it comes to the letters B, D, and G. When you place these letters either at the end of a word or before a consonant, then the sound transformation is usually as follows: das Grab/ the grave (the b sounds like a soft p), die Hand/ hand (the d sounds like a soft t) beliebig/ any (the sounds like a soft k). But wait, there’s more: the letter V in German sounds like F! Unfortunately, there is no English equivalent for the sound ü. Even though the letter C is in the German alphabet, by itself it plays only a minor role, since most German words that start with the letter C followed by a vowel, stem from foreign words. Say them quickly one after another and it sounds like, first - the preparation for the spit ch/ch, the start of the spit – sch (like sh in English), and finally the actual ejaculation of the spit – sp. It looks like a capital letter B with a tail hanging from it: ß. For example, der Caddie, die Camouflage, das Cello. (See article German s, ss or ß) The only way to avoid the ß is to move to Switzerland since Swiss Germans don’t use the ß at all. Beginners tend at first to over vocalize the ch sound and forget the sh sound in sp. Technically speaking the German alphabet has only one additional letter that is different- the eszett. The umlaut placed upon these vowels makes the following sound shifts: ä similar to the short e in bed; ö, similar to the u sound in further, and ü. similar to the French u sound. In German, this happens only above the vowels a, o and u. Ingrid Bauer, who is fluent in German, has been teaching and tutoring the German language since 1996. However, there is also something that Germans call “der Umlaut.” This is when two dots are placed above a letter. She has a teaching degree and an M.A. The standard name of the letter V, as it is in many languages, is actually the letter name of W in German. To pronounce the ü sound, you need to say u while your lips are in a puckering position. In German you'll rarely run into a 'c' that isn't followed by an 'h' except in foreign words. As for the letter W in German? But these four letters have not been added to the alphabet list and are not part of the German alphabet. If that 'c' is followed by an 'ä', 'e', 'i', or 'ö', it's pronounced as a 'ts' sound (for example: circa - approximate); otherwise it's pronounced as a 'k' (for example: Creme- cream). The following are five peculiarities of the German alphabet and its pronunciation that every beginner German student should know about. The pronunciation spitting combo helps students remember the peculiarities of these three very common German sounds: ch – sch – sp. Since these letter shifts sound very subtle when speaking, it is more important to pay attention to their correctness when writing them. There are more than twenty-six letters in the German alphabet. However, in German, there are further rules about when it is correct to write either ss or ß. For instance, the word der Vogel you would pronounce as Fogel (with a hard g). In fact, when people don’t have access to the German keyboard, they often will substitute a double s for the ß. This means that if you were singing the alphabet in German, the section TUVW, would sound as follows (Té/Fau/Vé). creative, Celcius (soft c sound in German sounds like ts) der Chor , der Christkindlmarkt (south German term for der Weihnachtsmarkt/ Christmas market), Celcius D d in German studies. Better practice some pronunciation spitting then!

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